05/16/2012 by | Comments (0)
-12 slices whole wheat baguette, lightly toasted
-4 ounces fresh goat cheese
-1 cup diced strawberries
-1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
-1/4 cup sliced fresh basil leaves
-Freshly ground black pepper
1. Spread the baguette slices with goat cheese.
2. Top with strawberries
3. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with basil and a generous amount of black pepper.
Come to the Strawberry Festival this weekend to enjoy other great Strawberry dishes!
09/02/2011 by | Comments (0)
Interesting entry from Erik Sternad, Executive Director of Interface on his day of hunger.
"Why would I go without food for 24 hours? In my 48 years on the planet, I’ve never gone without food for 24 hours... One morning last week as I woke up, this idea hit me: I needed to devote one day for each of the areas that VCT supports (food, shelter, healthcare, 2-1-1). So Tuesday was a day of fasting, a small sacrifice to “join” those who were also hungry yesterday in our community.
After skipping breakfast, I was fine until about 11:45am when I started to notice the food in my office, and the food that my colleagues were eating here at Interface. I realized what it must be like for kids who went to school hungry on Tuesday, seeing their friends with their Lunchables and sodas, and getting that tight feeling inside – a quiet humiliation, of going without.
At about 1:30pm, I put a sticky note on my “snack drawer” in my office just in case I got distracted and reached for one of the snacks. I didn’t dare look inside the drawer! How could it be that in our country, in one of the wealthiest counties in our state, we have kids hungry this afternoon? What are we doing wrong as a society that we keep plowing forward without stopping to pick up the little ones? I remember that someone once said as a society we are measured by how we treat those who are most vulnerable amongst us. We’ve got work to do.
I received a few encouraging Facebook posts in the afternoon, and the couple of donations that came in that day were especially uplifting. At those moments I didn’t mind being a little hungry – it’s working!
By dinner time I was watching the clock. I always grab a cookie or a bite of something as soon as I walk in the door from work, so I was feeling lost and realized four times that my body had walked over to the snacks on the counter. “You can do it, you only have until 10:30pm,” I told myself. “Why did you eat so late yesterday evening? If you last ate at 6pm we’d be done by now…” Yes, I was actively arguing with myself.
I kept myself busy with a project at home, but when I sat down to read at 9:00pm, I was actually having a hard time concentrating! It took extra effort to focus my thoughts and track the text. My thoughts again went to that hungry child who I imagined at the same time staring at her homework – “got to think, think, think…” What a horrible extra burden to lay on a hungry child.
By the time 10:30pm rolled around, I was so ready to savor that first bite of an Austrian pastry that my wife had made the day earlier. I usually give thanks for my food, but this time, I was sobered by the opportunity to eat.
Maybe that’s want we’ve done, is we’ve forgotten that eating is a gift, an opportunity and a blessing. I hope many join the VC Together effort to raise funds for our local food providers today – they have more mouths to feed these days and without a whole lot of money to do it with. In the end, I just want to find a way to assure that that young girl in my imagination two days ago has food for tomorrow.
(You can learn more, donate online at VCTogether.org or text: VCT to 27722 – thank you!)
05/19/2011 by | Comments (0)
Strawberries are an engrained part of Ventura County culture. According to the Farm Bureau of VC, strawberries bring in the highest revenue of any crop with $515 million in gross revenues in 2009. Ventura County produces enough strawberries each year, to satisfy the annual consumption of 82 million Americans. *
This is significant at FOOD Share as we try to provide an increasing number of hungry friends with healthy food. FOOD Share currently distributes over 5 million pounds of produce every year to over 876,000 people. These numbers are intangible to many, even to those of us who work every day at the food bank; but when we look at the individuals we serve, we see what a big impact we make every day in the lives of people of Ventura County.
A great example of this is our new Kids’ Farmers Market, where we have our nutritionists, Yolanda and Tammy, visit three Boys and Girls Clubs of Oxnard and Port Hueneme every month. This past week, groups of 20 to 30 3rd-7th graders learned how to grow their own vegetables and then made their own Strawberry Watermelon Mint Salsa. They were preparing for the California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard over the weekend. How they were able to cut the onions in such small pieces with those plastic knives is beyond me, but they did it! When Tammy or Yolanda would question them about what the main vitamin is in strawberries, just about all of them rang out with “Ceeeeeee”. The program always ends with kids lining up to “shop” for fresh produce, which this past week, happened to include 2 large boxes of tomatoes, oranges, cabbage (which was giant next to some of these very small children) and cucumbers. We are able to give away these bags of fresh produce thanks to generous donations from our local growers.
The Kids’ Farmers’ Market is just one example of how FOOD Share impacts people of Ventura County more than just giving out food. Through an innovative program, and with the help of our generous donors and sponsors, we are able to teach kids about healthy nutrition and provide them food in a way that empowers them.
Great with grilled chicken
Total Preparation Time: Less than 15 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: No Cooking Required
Number of Servings: 4
Special Features: Quick to Prepare (under 30 minutes)
Nutrition Content: Low Sodium
Meal Type: Sauces
1 cup Diced watermelon(seedless)
3/4 cup Diced strawberries
1/4 cup Diced red onion
2 tbsp Diced seeded jalapeno
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Lime juice
1 tsp Sugar
In a large bowl, gently stir together all ingredients. Let stand about 1 hour to blend flavors. Serve with grilled
12 large strawberries, diced
6 medium tomatoes, diced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 small jalapeno, diced
Salt & pepper to taste
Mix ingredients together and serve.
1 bag mixed greens
8-10 large strawberries, sliced
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup red wine
½ cup strawberries, pureed
Salt & pepper to taste
Puree enough strawberry to measure ½ cup. Whisk oil, vinegar, and red wine in a small bowl to blend. Mix in strawberry puree. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add dressing to mixed greens and toss to coat. Top with 8-10 large strawberries.
*Farm Bureau of Ventura County Website
03/24/2011 by | Comments (0)
Click here to view more photos
Nine vessels went out on a brilliant day last Tuesday at the 2nd Annual Fish for Food event to benefit FOOD Share, and it was a day of abundance! Ship after ship that we greeted at the end of the day reported that they had reached their maximum quota, or near to it, at 250 fish per boat. That’s a lot of fish to feed our hungry friends, families, and children of Ventura County who normally wouldn’t spend the $8.99 plus per lb of fish, no matter how high the health benefit!
At FOOD Share, we often think about abundance. How do we redistribute the over abundance of food from some to the under abundance of food of others? Last year we saw a 63% increase in the number of people who needed emergency or supplemental food help despite the estimate that 27% of all food is wasted per year. We know that the food is there to alleviate hunger but perhaps our biggest challenge is how to find where that food is.This is why I took heart when a participant in the Fish for Food event tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “My buddies and I fish every weekend and we always have extra…do you mind if we donate it to FOOD Share?”
A hardy thanks to the Channel Islands Lions Club, Ojai Lions Club and Noontimers Lions club, especially Dan & Scott who first marinated the most delicious Tri Tip and then prepared a wonderful BBQ for all those in attendance. The Lady Anglers hosted a great raffle with numerous great items to enjoy! Thanks to Channel Isles Sports fishing and all the wonderful crew for a great day. Also, a special thanks to Jerry Stussman for coordinating this event.